It is very common for wholesaling newbies to experiment when it comes to lead generation channels. Today’s guests are no exception.
Eric Wargo and James Walters are two business partners who have found radio after experimenting with various lead generation channels. In this episode, they also shared what their experience with radio has been like.
However, this is a radio success story with a twist: they advertised on a Spanish radio station! Find out why they chose a Spanish speaking station and where their choice to try radio has taken them. This is one inspiring radio story so don’t miss it!
How Two Wholesaling Partners Generated $35,000 In 3 Months On A Spanish Radio Station With Eric Wargo And James Walters
I’m with a couple of business partners. This is always interesting. When you look at a solopreneur versus two people that decided to come together and team up. This is an interesting interview because I know some of you reading feel like you might’ve been spinning your wheels, trying to get the lead generation piece up, trying to crack the code on what that looks like.
With my two guests, we’re going to talk about what life before they were utilizing a particular marketing channel and then life after. It’s super interesting because we are going to be talking about radio but also Spanish stations, which I don’t think we brought up yet on the show. That is a whole another place of value to do radio. I got Eric Wargo and his business partner, James Walters. Welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you guys.
Give us a quick background, Eric. How long have you guys been business partners? How long you’ve been in real estate? Where are you doing deals out of? Give everyone a snapshot. Who are you guys?
James and I had worked together in marketing before but we have been doing real estate together.
Let me ask you, James, why choose a partner? Why decide to team up with Eric or anyone for that matter?
Partnerships in my experience can be tough but they work when you’re not trying to do the same things. Eric and I, the way we fit together worked well. We’re not overlapping each other. We’re not trying to tell each other what to do. We have different roles. It aligned and it works.
You see that your differences being brought together is going to create some synergy. That’s why I tell people you don’t want your business partner to be exactly like you. You want to have some overall balance, a little bit a yin and yang within the relationship. I see that you guys obviously have that. Even though you’ve been partners for three months and launched this thing together, Eric, on your side, for the last few years trying to get traction and figure out this whole investment thing is that right?
I was trying to be able to get in front of the homeowners. I could never get a homeowner to get in front of.
This is good that you’re talking about this. Sometimes we listen to podcasts and a lot of times we’ll bring on a guest that has somehow done it quickly. I know a lot of people listening are going, “Can I raise my hand and be like, ‘I didn’t get a deal in my first 30 days like that last podcast I heard?’” I do have a lot of side conversations where people go, “I’ve been struggling for a few years to even get a deal or get in front of the seller.”
I find this version to be more common although it’s not necessarily always highlights. That’s why this is going to be such a great talk. Eric, what do you think was maybe the challenge of getting in front of the homeowner? What were you trying? What was the disconnect? This is going to help a lot of people.
My phone never rang. I tried Google ads and door hangers, going door to door through neighborhoods and everyone I talked to. I’ll put a door hanger on their door. Where I get the foreclosure list, I’ve knocked on everybody’s door. There are no entries. I got two calls out of bandit signs. One, I was able to close but it took six months. The other one, I didn’t have a contract on it. Even though he said, yes, I didn’t have one. I had to go home to grab one and then I never heard from him again. I stopped by. I called and texts I couldn’t get a hold of them. Now people are calling me.
I bet you fell in a way you were spinning your wheels. What was the conversation you were having with yourself during that time? I can imagine there’s a little bit of a mental and emotional battle going on there. “Why am I not getting the traction so far?” What were you telling yourself during that time and not to get too discouraged and keep pushing through and persevere?
In order to not discouraged, I kept thinking about all the other wholesalers I know. Somehow, they’re getting deals. These are happening somewhere. The one thing that was hard is all this stuff I looked up on Google and I’d find all these coaches willing to help with all these whether they charged or not. They all started off, “Once get a deal you go this and that.” I’m like, “Let’s go back. I have no problem with that part.”
Back to finding and getting first the deal.
I heard someone said, “My first deal I made $100,000.” I doubt you did but that’s all I want is a couple deals. That’s where James found one of your podcasts.
Partnerships can be tough, but they work well when you’re not trying to do the same things.
I applaud you for sticking with it, being persistent and not giving up because look at this, you’re on a show and we’re about to talk about how this story takes a turn for the better. You guys partner up. James, you heard a podcast about radio and you’re like, “If we’re going to start this partnership, why don’t we start it on the marketing channel of radio?” This is like, “I’ve been in real estate for a few years. I’ve been cold calling or RBM-ing, now I want to layer on the radio. We’re going to try to utilize this thing and be the catalyst for this entire partnership.” I want to know what you were thinking, James. Why radio? Why utilize this as a key piece?
I love podcasts. I listen to podcasts about everything. I was one of those people that listen probably way too long in real estate before I jumped in. I knew so much but I never did anything. Eric pushed me in and got me to do a deal. I did a flip. It went well. It was super scary because I was signing on as COVID was hitting in. It all went well.
After that, I was like, “I like real estate. It’s a great place to be.” We are both already taught. We’re looking for deals to flip in the beginning. How many deals we can flip? One of those bandit signs that he wanted to do was wholesale. We were talking about that and we’re like, “That sounds good.” I started listening to the wholesale and stuff. I heard you on a podcast.
I was like, “Let me call these guys and see what it’s about.” I talked to one of your guys, the salesperson for REI Radio. I talked to Eric because we were thinking of a billboard. We’re thinking about stuff that. I’ve heard all the stories about sending mailers out. I don’t have time for a lot of that stuff. I knew that was going on process.
How did you go, “We’re going in on the radio. We’re all in.” What’s the decision point for that?
I’m the person that thinks about something for a year and overthinks it all. I talked to Eric and we were both ready. We were like, “Let’s take the risk. Let’s do it.”
“Let’s make a bold move here.”
Being in marketing and everything you talked about the audience. I was like, “It makes sense. It’s not invasive.” That’s what I like about it. It was people coming to us and we’re not text messaging people and trying to beat down their door. I was like “Let’s do it.” Eric’s like, “Let’s do it.” We got on board. I was super scared to do it but I’m very happy we did.
We’re going to talk about some numbers here. Eric, what about you? What attracted you to radio? Look at all of the options out there and go, “We’re going all-in on this. Pushing the chips in. Let’s invest in this channel.” What made that decision for you?
James brought it to my attention and I was like, “I don’t think it’s going to work.”
You’ve been in this for years trying all this stuff. You’re skeptical at this point.
I was super skeptical. I don’t know anyone else that does that. I have never called anybody because I heard an ad on a radio ever. I don’t know anyone who calls on the radio or advertises. James mentioned it. I was like, “Why not? Let’s give it a shot.” He told me about your course. I was like, “I don’t know. We’ve got to spend money on this course. I don’t want to do it.” I was like, “Nothing else is working.” The fee for billboards is huge. The commitment is they want one-year contract. I was, “I don’t know. That’s a huge gamble. I’m not willing to play with.”
You get pulled in a little bit kicking and screaming. James is a little bit more clear on, “This is the direction we go.” You guys launched radio. You’ve been up for a few months at this point. You said previous to this, “I got two calls.” How many calls are you averaging a week off of the one station that you picked up?
I would say 20 out of 25 calls a week.
You got a nice-sized station. You’re spending how much per month off this one station?
It’s $3,400 monthly. A lot of students primarily start with a $1,000 to $2,000 but Eric and James came in and bought what I would call a bigger healthier station. As you can tell these guys are like, “Let’s go for it.” This kind of mentality. Off that station, you’re getting that many calls, which is awesome. You didn’t go English speaking, you chose a Spanish speaking station. Why did you decide to do that?
It’s the first one to say yes.
We were seeking out English and Spanish. We knew the Spanish market here where we are is big. Eric speaks Spanish. We definitely were very intrigued and interested in it. Like Eric said, “They were the first one that said yes.”
It was like, “We’re going to go both at the same time,” but you had the option there because Eric speaks Spanish. If you’re reading, I want to tell you something about radio. There’s virtually no competition on radio. If you want to draw another MO around you, meaning you could argue, “Several years from now, more people are going to know about radio and be advertising.” Just go over to the Spanish speaking stations, which most people cannot handle either because they don’t speak Spanish or they don’t outsource and think to hire a Spanish speaking acquisition manager or lead manager.
I am telling you it’s wide open. No competition completely untapped. We would argue and tell you that utilizing Spanish is a very valuable play. Some markets even be stronger than English speaking stations. You probably haven’t heard us talk about this but we have students that have done a great job of coming in and Eric and James intentionally chose Spanish from the very beginning. People want to know, “What’s happening?” You’re getting great call volume. You have closed a deal. Tell us a little bit about that deal. What was the profit margin on it? How did that feel?
It felt great. We made $10,000 on that deal.
That’s a solid wholesale deal.
It was in Galveston, Texas. They called. They were few months behind in payments. It felt nice to be able to do something that I felt was helping somebody out, getting them out of a bind and we made money on it.
What was the quality of that call? Did you have a lot of competition from other wholesalers? Did they come in leery of who you were?
No, they were super excited because I’m a native Spanish speaker. We’re in Houston so we’ve got people from all over the world here. We’re the number one diverse city in the United States. When you can speak Spanish a little bit like the people that already talk Spanish, if you can throw in a little bit of slang, it makes the walls come down.
They heard you on the radio. You’re already trusted and seen as a local expert. You guys did a deal for $10,000. While we’re talking about this, your guys’ pipeline is growing. You’re getting momentum. James, you were saying this month alone, December 2020, you guys got another $25,000. Is that right?
We’ve got a $25,000 plan to close. Those are two deals before the end of 2020. The pipeline is full. I feel like we got a little leak but I feel we’re about to burst because getting 20 to 25 calls sometimes more a week. It’s a lot. Honestly, we are super surprised. It’s a lot to handle.
You guys are hitting an untapped market. That’s a great call volume but you’re also getting in front of a Spanish audience that’s not getting this message. English, they’re getting postcards, RBM and texting but you guys are hitting an untapped market which is super cool.
Almost everyone I’ve spoken to, I’ve asked them, “Did you call anyone else? Did you have any offers? Almost all of them say zero. They’ve not called anyone else. I’m the only person they’re even talking to.
That’s exactly what we want. It’s going to be difficult to do deals if we got to go against five other wholesalers or rehabbers or whatever that is. That’s one of my favorite parts is the fact that once you go on these appointments, a lot of times you’re the only person because you’re not doing something that’s list dependent like cold calling or RBM-ing. You’re the only one that they’ve talked to do a deal.
I’m curious. I want to go back to your story, Eric. Few years, in the trench and trying to shake things up. Nothing’s falling out of a tree. You partnered up, fresh partnership, already closed a deal off radio took a risk and rolled the dice. “This thing is working. Your pipeline’s building. You got another $25,000.” Where are you at mentally which is different back before you partnered?
I want to understand what’s happened up here. If I’m reading, I now want to be and go, “I’m reading and I relate to Eric. I’m that guy. All of the sudden, I’m in this show and he’s on the other side. I’m inspired because I want to be Eric and get on the other side of this.” Help people understand. What are you thinking now? Where’s your confidence? What has changed for you in this whole process?
It actually feels nice to do something to help somebody out and get them out of a bind and make money on the side.
I have a big heart for missions and evangelism. I’m from Costa Rica originally. That’s why I speak Spanish. It’s a whole other world. Knowing other countries and all that. I wanted to spend a lot of time in other countries. Nobody pays me to do the stuff that I want to do. That’s why I want to find a job that makes money without my presence and putting in hours. I feel I want it to get paid off my willingness to risk, not by how many hours I work.
I feel like wholesaling or real estate, in general, is what allows me to do that. I know you live in Mexico. I would love to move back to Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic where we did missions for a while and still be able to run this all at the same time. That’s what I’m trying to set my life up for. I’d to raise my kids with global awareness and a worldview.
Eric, after months, does vision seem more attainable?
Can you begin to see it?
I can. My wife has a little trouble seeing it but I can see it. I’m looking at it every day. I can totally see it now. I don’t think it’s going to take that long to get there either. As long as I thought it might.
Your story is unique but the overall story, in general, is the same for all of us. That is, we all have something in our hearts, something we’re passionate about and we feel called to do. You might say it’s a particular purpose, but we feel that pull. The problem we have is at the bottom of every dream for the most part is money.
Even if that dream is for the good and the sense of a cause it still requires an economic engine to be able to do that. My story is exactly with yours. I’m a seminary graduate. I went the real estate route because I wanted a vehicle. I wanted a delivery system to impact the world and I wanted to be able to write the check myself for it.
I totally agree with you that real estate and investing allow us to do it. Everyone can fill in the blank. “I want the freedom to X. I want the freedom to be a better father and be more present than my parents were. To have that freedom and not have to go work a 9:00 to 5:00.” A lot of people say there are particular causes that they want to get in but it’s the freedom to do something.
What amazes me on this and why I’m getting the most excited about this interview is that the catalyst on this whole thing for you guys was you chose to partner up. I’m looking at your decision-making. “Not working. I’m going to partner up.” That’s a wise move. “Then I’m going to make a bold move on radio because we need to get the phone to ring,” and that pays off and now you’re on the other side of this.
I’m glad to be a part of that, particularly because of your motivation to do this in the first place, which is literally right after my own heart and that’s missions, evangelism and all that type of stuff, figuring out how we can go out and impact the world. What a great story. First of all, if you reading as always, you want to take a look, you can always go subscribe and watch us on YouTube. Go to Chris Arnold – Real Estate.
If you’re reading and you’re like, “This is a good story. This guy’s as skeptical as I am. He decided to step into this. I see the power of this whole radio thing.” We keep talking about it again and again because it works so well as a great market channel. Particularly even if you’re new, go check it out. Go to WholesalingInc.com/REIRadio and book a call. See if your market is open.
If you’re hungry, try to find another marketing channel, this might be the solution that you’re looking for like it was a solution for Eric and James. I want to wrap up with one question that goes to both of you. I will start with you James, on your side. James, if someone’s reading and trying to figure out what they should do next, wondering if radio is a fit, what would you tell them at this point? They’re like, “Should I make this decision? Should I push in my chips on this channel? Is this the best thing? What would you tell?”
I’m on the other side of this. I definitely would put my chips in it. One thing that drew me to radio too is it’s not basic. I love the idea that they are coming to you and you’re not prying into their private life. That part of it makes it a better feel overall. To get people to ring your phone, I’d say, “You got to go in.”
The spam-based approach to marketing that a lot of people are doing is invasive.
It is. When I mentioned wholesalers even to my friends, they’re like, “I got a text message. Was that you?”
What about you, Eric? Bring it home. Somebody reading, “Should I do this thing? Is this a good fit? What would you tell them to consider to think about it? People reading this and they’re left to make decisions. “Should I do cold calling or do radio? What would you tell them?”
I have two thoughts. The first would be that you should absolutely do it. James and I were thinking about picking up an English station and a Spanish station. We don’t have the capacity to pick up another one. We’re going to have to start figuring out how to do that. It would obviously have to be an English one. I couldn’t handle doing another one. Do it. I’ve been talking to all of my local flippers that I know around here, the ones who got me in this and they’re all struggling to find deals. Even the guy with 25 years of experience. He started me on these talks about how hard it is to find a deal. Now, I’m sending him deals to look at. The tables are trying to turn a little bit.
My second point is that I told a buddy of mine, he’s in another city so he wouldn’t be competition for me or anything. I was going to start doing radio and he got so excited. He went out and did it. Not having gone through the course. He went out and did it. Then I asked him about it, “How is it going?” He said, “I’ve given up on real estate altogether. I got zero calls.” I was like, “Tell me about the radio station.” It turns out it was a radio station that’s young and trendy people, which was to me already a negative.
I was like, “That’s why you’re not getting calls. That’s one big reason.” The station is geared for younger college people who live in Waco and Baylor University. It’s geared for those people. I was like, “I don’t they don’t even own homes.” He had a lot of friends tell him I heard you on the radio but that didn’t help his business out. Also, the big trip was knowing how much to pay for it. Since I didn’t explain all that to him, that’s the bread and butter of the whole thing.
The course is worth every penny.
There’s no way to navigate on your own. It took me ten years and I paid a lot of money to a lot of coaches to learn what I learned how to do. Some things you can copy, go watch some YouTube videos and figure out how to do it but I’ve seen some people try. If you do it for free, do it for free because I’ve seen some people try to sidestep the program and do it. Radio has too many variables to have to decide to get them lined up in order for that station to produce at the level that it does.
The course is short but I would say is worth it. All the things you guys started talking about, the words you, us. I don’t even know what they were, QMS, rankers, never heard of these terms but I asked for them, I got them and now we got a station.
I’m super proud of you guys. It’s such a great story. This is a raw inspirational story that most people are reading and resonating with. I want to thank you for coming on. I love that you guys are partnering. I wish you the best of luck. We’re going to continue to be working together. I’m going to help you grow that radio even more. To the rest of you, thank you so much. Until next time, we will catch you soon to add more value.
About Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold is a 15-year Real Estate veteran who has closed over 2500 single-family real estate transactions in the DFW metroplex. Chris is the founder of multiple companies that are managed by a US virtual team, which allows Chris to run his organizations while living in Tulum, Mexico full time. His passion for leaders has led to the creation of Multipliers brotherhood which serves the top 5% of real estate entrepreneurs out of the US. Most recently Chris has launched his REI Radio coaching program. This program is designed to teach real estate investors the marketing stream that everyone knows about but NO ONE is doing!